Fighting birds and hens confiscated at border
FUENTE: SIGNON SAN DIEGO
27 / ABRIL / 2010
BY KRISTINA DAVIS, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
SAN YSIDRO — Twelve cockfighting birds and five hens found stuffed in nylon stockings were seized Sunday after a man tried to smuggle them into Mexico in the back of a pickup, county officials said.
The owner, Raul Salcedo, was apparently taking the birds to his uncle in Mexico after receiving pressure from authorities in his hometown of Alta Dena to get rid of them, said John Carlson, spokesman for County Animal Services.
Salcedo tried to cross into Mexico Sunday morning but was stopped by Mexican authorities and forced to turn around.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered the 17 birds encased in stockings to prevent them from clucking, and their legs were tied together to prevent any kind of movement, Carlson said.
Once the birds were freed, they showed serious signs of distress and began rapidly drinking water. The hens also had been restrained with eggs trapped inside them, which can be painful.
The roosters had to be euthanized because of their aggressive behavior toward people and other birds, making them unadoptable, Carlson said. The five hens may be available for adoption in the near future. They can be viewed at the county animal shelter, 5821 Sweetwater Road in Bonita.
Salcedo was cited on suspicion of 17 counts of animal cruelty, which could be a felony or misdemeanor, and 17 counts of illegal manner of transportation, a misdemeanor.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered the 17 birds encased in stockings.